"Can't no Teflon fry no fried chicken." -Vertamae Grosvenor
Revered as heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation, cast iron pans are the essential kitchen tool for true Southern Cooking. There isn't much a southern girl can't cook in her Mama's well seasoned skillet, from fried chicken to cornbread, it is a tangible piece of a family's history.
Store you iron skillet in a cool, dry place to prevent rust. If your skillet has a lid store it seperately, or place a paper towel between the pan and the lid to absorb any moisture.
If you are lucky enough to have inherited an iron skillet, preserve it and care for it well. If you are learning to cook like a southerner, go get yourself a medium iron skillet tomorrow!
Don't be discouraged by a new, unseasoned pan. You can easily be on your way to having a well-seasoned skillet in no time. The best seasoning food you can cook in your new pan is bacon. After cooking the bacon drain the grease into a container and keep it in the refrigerator until it solidifies.
Heat your oven to 250 degrees
Coat the inside of your skillet with a layer of the bacon grease (lard can also be used)
Place the pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Pour any excess grease out of the pan, and put it back in the oven for another 2 hours.
This process can be repeated several times to enhance seasoning.
Another important advantage of cooking in cast iron is that it is one of the top sources for achieving your daily iron intake. Getting proper amounts of iron are essential for preventing anemia and fatigue.
Happy cooking and healthy eating.